Tuesday. Slightly cross tirade from a boat person saying two sailors rescued after (supposedly) months lost at sea are lying.
Monday. A cheerful wife says "slutty behaviour" helped her find the right man; Someone not-too-convincingly claims feminism was a malign force even in the 19th century; A woman with 65 previous offences, several violent, gets only 5 years for killing someone on the street in Manchester; A writer soberly appeals for feminists to embrace evolutionary theory.
Sunday. Fascinating article about a single strand of wire enclosing part of Manhattan to allay religious/doctrinal concerns of some Orthodox Jews.
Saturday. Description of the sinister Orwell-+-Huxley-style social network in China they've been building for a few years.
Friday. As Madrid & the Catalans continue bickering, Sinn Fein's support for Barcelona described as a political blunder.
Thursday. Clever 3D pedestrian crossing in Iceland. Similar road markings in 1980s Britain (tromp d'oeil painted arrows that seemed to stand up out of the tarmac) got vetoed by the desk weasels.
Wednesday. Doctors baffled (and worried, I hope) by woman sweating blood. Top marks to the journal for calling itself 'Stuff'.
Tuesday. Researcher tries to explain brainwaves.
Monday. Apparently a few left-wingers will scream at the sky to mark one year since President Honey Monster won the election. Woman who married herself admits to cheating on herself. Harvard Mag, a decade and a half ago, explains why white people should be abolished. Article says the gods love socialist governments who die young, comparing Jim Morrison to Che Guevara. Is Facebook bending over backwards for Islamism?
Sunday. People feel liberal if they're superhuman?
Saturday. Do men lust after clever girls and if not why not?
Friday. Go with Robin to do some Tarot-reading at a friend's house. Svelte Julia lies on the sofa wrapped in a blanket grumbling about not sleeping the previous night. Krisztian pours digestif bitters for me and expresses indignation about a Hungarian sexual harassment case in the news. Some very interesting spreads come up.
Thursday. More harsh words about film producer Mr Weinstein and his Oscar cartel here and here. Someone goes rapidly off piste with a claim that if aliens exist they must be machines and must be very old. Some researchers claim that liberal/left voters have more psychotic traits.
Wednesday. Takimag definitely finding its voice, no longer just an expanded version of Taki's old column at the Spectator. Here, some extraordinary good sense about women, men, & feminism. Followed by more harsh but good sense about foreign migrant workers in the US: as (on the subject of 'Principle Numero Two-o: There's no genetic difference that makes a Mexican more likely to love horrible jobs than an American.') Bob says: "They're not having folk festivals in Mexican villages in which all the young mothers pray to the Aztec gods to give them jobs cleaning toilets in Akron." In separate news, we should not be shocked by research saying in organisations senior women help other women much less than senior men do men. British man runs away and lives homeless in woods for a decade to get away from nagging wife.
Tuesday. Seems no baby Nigels in 2016. Perhaps 1.
Monday. Over the last week, a scandal has been breaking involving a large Hollywood executive called Harvey Weinstein. In all his photos he's in a suit and has impressive stubble. Allegations rapidly mount that he has for 30 years been shouting at people, throwing chairs at glass walls, extracting sexual favours from women seeking major film roles, extracting sexual favours from women seeking minor film roles, masturbating in meetings, telling various folk "You'll never work in this town again", and otherwise being boorish. Harvey has a fine showing in a list of people who get thanked in Academy Award acceptance speeches, although Billy Wilder appears to be misplaced on that bar chart. Lots of actors, actresses, and journalists now say how appalled they are by Mr Weinstein's behaviour (including his younger brother, see Position 8 in getting-thanked chart), after they all covered up for him for decades. Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Robinson! Harvey has helped make many films as a producer, including such classics as 'Bad Santa', 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno', and 'Full Frontal' ("Everybody needs a release.")
Sunday. Finish a book kindly lent by Robin, 'A History of Civilizations' by Fernand Braudel, translated into English by Richard Mayne. Although the author is established in an introduction as the great French scholar who helped launch a new 20th-century movement for a kind of full, "all-round" history including all the other subjects, the result here is sometimes intriguing but mostly disappointing. Different continents are examined in turn. He swallows the mid-century ideas behind a European Union based on the EEC unquestioningly, he breaks into lyrical discussion of South American literature (and a little bit in the USA section, but not elsewhere) yet seems flummoxed by the grand sweep of the Latin continent. Looking at the USA section and the Latin America section back to back, Braudel seems to find the distances and poverty of the Latin 3/4 of the two continents heroic, crushing, epic yet cannot pin down what keeps the place poor, even when he is forced to replay almost the same discussion in the following section about how the United States became quickly rich and carried on getting richer. When he could have done more modest history, recounting some string of events in detail, he instead is admirably ambitious. Sad though, because the sweeping view of history he tackles shows him up as a bit limited intellectually. In a rather sloppy design choice by Penguin, the cover samples the same 1830s painting -
The Course of Empire by Thomas Cole - they used for the cover of their edition of Gibbon's book on the fall of Rome.
Saturday. In the shopping centre basement level, a relaxed girl with long brown hair casually swerves away from her boyfriend so that without breaking step she can stroke the head of the six-foot-tall plush giraffe standing guard in the toy shop doorway. She curves back in time to step on the up escalator just behind him. A few days ago I noticed a small stain the size of a large coin on the lino floor of my flat. Curiously it's a kind of deep rose colour, and roughly the shape of the pink lion in the Spanish coat of arms & flag. Represents the Kingdom of Leon apparently. A fortnight after riot militia in the streets were beating bleeding Catalans during a vote, senior EU figures remain supportive of Madrid's robust policing style.
Friday the 13th! Austrian politics gets snippy as coalition partners accuse each other of cheating in elections.
Thursday. 1) Moody synth track needed as yet another 1970s sci-fi plot starts unfolding: Rise Of The Plastic Eaters; 2) Big straw animals in Japan; 3) One of our contributors with a well-organised, thought-provoking speech that slightly hyperventilates about social media; 4) Sex "toys" are easy to hack - but what kind of person stuffs an internet-connected device up their minge anyway? - seriously; 5) Surprise, surprise, of course private railways are hugely better than British Rail ever was, as anyone who can read numbers or has an honest memory has known for decades already.
Wednesday. Nice self-assembling ball-bearing-circuit action on film.
Tuesday. Recent loss of Western mojo seems to be accepted now.
Monday. Slightly chilly weather being followed up by a couple of quite warm days. Perfect for a glass of chilled blue wine.
Sunday. Ladies! Don't put powdered wasp-nest up yourselves!
Saturday. One of our contributors lists odd points about last Sunday's Las Vegas mass murder by an affluent white man with a room full of weapons claimed by Da'esh to have converted to Islam six months ago. Does the rumour it was an FBI entrapment arms-sale sting gone wrong have any substance?
Friday. a) People cry more easily watching movies at altitude; b) Saudi textbook shows Kingdom Ambassador advised by Star Wars goblin; c) This year Britain moved from 9th to 8th largest manufacturer in world - Brexit nightmare continues! d) Thoughtful and useful piece on crypto-currency drawbacks; e) Interesting and slightly eerie long article about a curious firm that changes your naughty children's behaviour; f) Suggestion that income & wealth inequality is an inevitable physics artefact - convincing yet unsatisfying at the same time.
Thursday. Mistreatment of Burmese Muslim minority not quite what it seems: article rather shouty & repetitive, but interesting.
Wed. Make organic plastic in your kitchen! Greens Will Eat Themselves.
Tuesday. Many shocked by Madrid authorities' heavyhanded efforts on Sunday to block & disrupt a Catalan independence referendum, albeit an illegal independence referendum. A retired British ambassador reacts on his blog with a strikingly stupid screed about the EU: not only is he thick enough to have positively supported the EU federal project for decades until this week, (and to confuse 'denounce' and 'renounce', until he edits it), but he seriously thinks EU natural-rights-based civil-code law secures freedom when of course it creates police states. That's right, you can serve in Britain's Foreign Office with views as dim as these. Notice his repeated use of 'right wing'. Of course, good on him for finally seeing through the EU and speaking out against Madrid's day of state-imposed fightiness, but look into his detailed reasoning and despair.
Monday. Teacher tells class of children not to talk to one boy whose father is a Tory MP.
Sunday. Ongoing Catalan & Spanish liveliness flares up again when the independence referendum banned by Madrid goes ahead. Riot police acting under the instructions of the central Spanish government do a fair amount of thumping & kicking, but manage to at least avoid killing anyone. Sunday, the day of rest, is the traditional day for elections and votes on The Continent, as opposed to Thursdays in Britain, the day of Norse god Thor: probably just historical accident. In the evening of the same day, a slightly strange mass shooting in the US, where apparently a wealthy 64-year-old man with lots of guns sprays a crowd at a country-and-western concert with semi-automatic fire from a hotel bedroom, killing over 50 people, and is already dead from a shot to the head when police break down his door.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
markgriffith at yahoo.com